David Leßmann Kommunikationsgestaltung

Prosper 1.5


Font Design
Master Thesis

My master thesis focused on the limitations of typography, especially those of production and reception of miniature-grade type. A critical aspect, besides designing the visual and receptual, was observing and complying with the influence of the technical output process. Researching and testing of different printing methods and machines led to the decision for the Kodak Prosper 5000XLi, which is a full-scale continous-inkjet system with resolutions between 600x660 and 600x900 DPI, as application system for the originating font. The central question, that arose during the process was: “What are the needs of the small (to work)?”. Different strategies, which can be categorized as formal acting and technical reacting, emerged from this. Testprints were microscoped, drop-sizes measured (result: 50 micrometers in diameter) and the process of rasterization analysed. The outcome was a seven-unit high grid as base for the typeface, resulting in a fontsize of 1.5 points.
A formal appearance of high readability in this size requires new ways of thinking of the design process and developing tools for testing the designs without the need of printing every single scribble. All these tools, which stand as independent applications, were used to identify weaknesses and flaws of original designs or foreign fonts.
The result of this complex process is the font Prosper 1.5.

Mentors: Arne Scheuermann, Nik Thoenen